Warning: This recap of the “2017/09/11” episode of Bachelor in Paradise contains spoilers.
Although Bachelor in Paradise believes that it is a comedy, most of us recognize it for the terrifying horror show it truly is. Unfortunately, this season’s felt like a lesser sequel than a classic slasher, the kind that feels like a cheap cash-grab, and if anything you’re rooting for the killer to dispatch as many interchangeable co-eds or himbos as possible. Which is is a valid form of entertainment, obviously! You gotta take the thrills where you can get ’em. And in this week’s season finale, a glowing-eyed, undead Cupid rose from its shallow grave and sought revenge upon the dozens of Bachelor in Paradise castmembers who’d mistakenly believed they were capable or deserving of love… and it was a romantic bloodbath on the beach that only two couples survived! Let’s talk about it!
We began with Chris Harrison’s dire warning to the foolish souls who’d chanced upon this cursed burial ground…
This was to be their final afternoon in “paradise” and they had three options: Leave separately; leave holding someone’s hand; or stick around for a free dinner and sexcapade. Not that the latter option would incentivize lying about being in love or anything!
Faced with these three options, most of the various pairings (musical chairings?) began to bite the dust immediately. Jasmine and the Tickle Monster barely had both cheeks on the day bed before standing back up and bouncing right out of there. And Jack Stone made the mistake of assuming that he had any kind of future with Christen whatsoever.
She couldn’t even bring herself to call him a “friend.” He was an “acquaintance” at best, and she seemed physically repulsed at the idea that they might be a match in any way. She then accepted the world’s most awkward hug from him and walked directly into the ocean.
The rest of the cast observed Christen do this and made it sound like she was going to return to the land of the scallops, as a secret scallop herself? This obviously raised interesting questions about cannibalism if she were truly a scallop who fed primarily on scallops. Anyway, Christen was beneath the waves now where presumably she was being asked out by literally every other male creature as well. Best of luck, girl!
Jack Stone, facing the most humiliating rejection of his life, could do little else but put a foot up on the set and think about things. Had this been a cool summer? Probably not.
Didn’t see this one coming! Just when D-Lo finally had Dean to herself, he decided that he still loved Kristina? And therefore was done with D-Lo just as quickly as he’d decided he’d been done with Kristina. Except he wasn’t done with Kristina it turned out. But she was gone, and now it was time for him to be gone. Or something?
The look on D-Lo’s face wasn’t so much “you played me” as it was “I played myself.” Because YES. That’s how it goes with these situations! If you crush on someone who leaves their person for you, guess what they’ll do next? Leave you for someone else, or go back to their ex! That’s like Side Piece 101. A jerk leopard doesn’t change its jerk stripes! Anyway, Dean and D-Lo were finished also. (But this episode was NOT finished with Dean, don’t worry.)
Diggy unceremoniously denied Dominique the honor of, uh, sharing an Uber back to the airport with him, and then minutes later Jaimi rejected HIS offer of sharing an Uber back to the airport. It was like a love-triangle but like the opposite. A real menage-a-rejection and they all deserved it!
The tears didn’t stop there. Robby emerged from his room looking newly lacquered and ready to sweep Amanda off her feet directly into a rose petal strewn California King bed. But she shut him down pretty brutally with one harsh piece of logic: She’d made a bad decision about Josh the previous summer, so she didn’t want to accidentally fall for another douchebag so soon after. Robby did not take this particularly well and seemed shocked at the foreign concept of rejection. Had she really just said “no” to him? She had! And frankly, I was impressed. Amanda was learning! (Except, uh, not really. To be continued!)
Lacey seemed to be living the dream. She and her dream adonis Daniel were among the three couples invited into the fantasy suite portion of the season, and her repeated claims of being in actual love with him seemed to be at least somewhat requited. Obviously we had seen zero evidence of them being anything more than drinking buddies this season, but we’ll take her word for it! They were definitely madly in love and nothing could go wrong now. They, along with Adam and Raven, and Taylor and Derek, were sure to begin sharing their respective lives together with all the free champagne they could guzzle.
But before we saw what happened within the fantasy suites, the finale then shifted into the studio audience portion of the show where we reunited the castmembers and Chris grilled them about their failures.
Tellingly, Dean received big boos from the audience (that he openly agreed with) and Kristina received roars of approval. And then Chris wasted almost no time in bringing these two out:
Obviously Corinne and DeMario said absolutely nothing of value and continued to assist the show in remaining vague about whatever incident may or may not have caused the entire production to shut down. And because the incident had now fully pivoted from a serious HR situation to on-camera content, one got the sense that Corinne and DeMario were now fair game for future seasons of the show. Cool! Congratulations, everyone. Play along and get those paychecks! Honestly, I don’t even want to talk about this subject ever again. Let’s talk about this beautiful coffee table arrangement instead:
Just look at it. That delightful starfish. The sand dollar. The brown clay that looks a little like sand. True artistry still exists in this world.
At least the finale had the decency to place Wells in the audience and never ask him any questions. For me this season of Bachelor in Paradise did more to ruin Wells’ likability than even Dean’s. And yes, the two women sitting in the audience wearing custom made Wells t-shirts more than likely had mental problems, so we shouldn’t poke fun. Anyway, I understood why they needed an on-camera agent to bartend and tease out storylines, but we did not need puppetry or kissing sad castmembers to get their hopes up in order to look heroic or whatever. Miss u, Jorge.
Oh you better believe I LOVED the feud between Christen and Jasmine, which at first seemed to be a rekindling of their rivalry over Penguin Matt, but it became clear Christen was in fact upset about being called Scallop Fingers so much. Again, this was a humiliating joke that Christen had no choice but to pretend to be cool with, especially after Bachelor in Paradise made it the most prominent comedic subplot of the season. So yeah, the whole thing has felt like borderline bullying and yeah, it was very funny at times, but we’re not all getting away clean here. This lady’s feelings have been officially hurt!
Speaking of hurt, Dean is the king of it. He seemed especially mad at himself for his behavior all season and attempted to tell both Kristina and D-Lo that he was so sorry. But if we’d assumed he’d left D-Lo in paradise in order to win Kristina back, it turned out he’d changed his mind AGAIN off-camera and attempted to get back with D-Lo after leaving paradise. So yeah, his “flipping-flopping” (per Kristina) had continued and might even still be continuing, and both D-Lo and Kristina seemed very over it. But again, Dean’s behavior has been almost TOO real and honestly instructive for anyone who’s made the mistake of falling for a Dean type. Things come easy to him, so of course he’ll have a hard time figuring out what he wants. Fortunately, this season he managed to lose two great-seeming romantic partners as well as his reputation as a good guy within Bachelor Nation. So if he doesn’t experience growth from these mistakes, he’s just a lost cause.
Similarly, whatever credibility Amanda gained by not falling for Robby in the end was undone by the revelation that she’d changed her mind and began dating Robby after Paradise… Only to have him behave like the douchebag she’d feared he’d be. This boiled down to him not really making time to see her, and the added rumors of him hooking up with women on business trips (rumors that were stoked by Hayley and Emily, who claimed that Amanda received photos of Robby’s bad behavior). Anyway, they simply weren’t a match. If only Amanda had followed her instincts earlier!
And then this one felt especially gross: Shortly after Daniel told Lacey he was falling in love with her and the cameras exited so that fantasy suite shenanigans could begin, apparently Daniel informed her that he’d only said that stuff for the camera’s benefit and he would not even be changing his Facebook status for her. Not since Robert had kept his jeans on in the fantasy suite and Sarah returned to Paradise in tears has there been such a late-in-the-game rejection like this. Lacey then told Chris Harrison that weeks after that happened, Daniel had visited New York for six days but only agreed to hang with her one-on-one for an hour. But for me the fascinating part was how the producers showed behind-the-scenes footage of Daniel admitting to producers that he wasn’t into Lacey, which was an example of this show being FAR more honest than it had been during the alleged sexual misconduct situation. Just so we’re being clear, it’s willing to pull back the curtain to throw a castmember under the bus, but when it comes to possible lawsuit-provoking situations it’ll remain mum AF. Noted!
So after all that heartache, the show then pivoted to its dual happy endings. Raven and Adam had had a great time in their fantasy suite!
We could tell by the way Raven sat on Adam’s lap that they were still a thing. They were SUCH a thing that Raven even invited her parents out to meet Adam for the first time! It wasn’t exactly a live-TV sonogram, but it was something.
We then saw a flashback of Taylor informing Derek that she was considering falling in love with him, but she’d need to f*** him first. I almost ADMIRED her for her honesty. Because that IS how it works a lot of the time! Anyway, they did sex and apparently they got good results, because only minutes later he was down on one knee!
Yep, despite the taint of this season’s alleged misdeeds, it still resulted in a genuine-seeming engagement!
Congratulations to Taylor and Derek. They cracked the code somehow, and will now get to spend the next few decades making “me” statements and speaking in therapy jargon at each other. May he rarely if ever say “f*** you” to her for no reason.
Aaand we ended with a check-in with Ben Z., who by his own admission had fallen in love with a dog. See, this is what religious leaders were worried about when gay marriage began to get legalized. Slippery slope, people!
Look, Bachelor in Paradise is always a short and sweet jaunt into the simultaneously complicated yet pleasurable romantic horrors we all aspire to experience. This season may have been better if the cast were better selected or if it had better handled the Corinne-DeMario shutdown. Instead we’re left feeling slightly underwhelmed and more than slightly grossed out. However! Fun is fun, regardless of the guilt factor, and you better believe we’ll tune in for future seasons. In Paradise, Cupid can be the most bloodthirsty killer of all, and there will always be more room in the shallow grave of romance that is Playa Escondida.
The Bachelor returns in January on ABC.
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